Summary of Services

The Tallahassee Police Department was established in 1841 and is the third- oldest municipal police department in the country. The department is also the third-longest nationally accredited law enforcement agency and in 2017 was awarded Advanced Meritorious Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). As an Advanced Meritorious Accreditation agency, the Tallahassee Police Department represents an extraordinary example of excellence in public safety, and it is recognized nationally as a model agency for current and potential CALEA applicants.


The Office of the Chief includes the chief of police, deputy chiefs, chief of staff, and legal advisor, with the deputy chiefs overseeing the functions assigned to each bureau. The chief of staff reports directly to the chief of police and is responsible for Financial Management, including Grants and Supply, the Accreditation and Inspection Unit, and the Internal Affairs Unit. The chief of staff is also responsible for any special projects and assignments which come out of the chief’s office.


The Patrol Bureau utilizes a zone-based patrol concept consistent with the community-oriented policing (COP) philosophy. Patrol personnel are assigned to a geographical zone to become more familiar with the residents who live and work in the area and the activities that typically occur. This encourages more interaction between officers and residents and allows officers to focus on crime prevention and enforcement activities unique to their zone. The Community Relations Unit includes liaison officers and COP squads that supplement the efforts of patrol personnel through a focus on identified criminal activity based on real-time intelligence information. The Operational Support Bureau consists of the traffic and airport units, downtown officers, and K-9 units.


The Support Branch includes Criminal Investigations and High-Risk Offenders Bureaus. The Criminal Investigations Bureau comprises Property and Persons Crimes and includes the department’s Victim Advocate and Forensics Units. Also included are Crime Analysis and Criminal Intelligence Units, responsible for analyzing crime trends and developing focused criminal offender intelligence information. This information is utilized with operational personnel through the department’s CompStat program. The High-rRisk Offenders Bureau comprises the Special Investigations Unit that focuses on drug crimes, the Career Criminal Unit, which focuses on fugitive apprehension, and the Violent Crime Response Team, which addresses violent crime throughout the community.


The Internal/External Branch includes Internal/External Affairs, the Public Information Office, and Administrative Services. The Internal/External Bureau consists of Training and Development, Special Events, Reserve Officer Program, School Crossing Guard Program, Community Relations, and the Cadet Program. The Administrative Service Bureau includes Employee Resources, Records, Fleet, Property and Evidence, Building Services, switchboard operators, and Background and Recruiting. The Public Information Bureau is responsible for communications and marketing for the department.


The Tallahassee Police Department operates a Tactical Apprehension and Control (TAC) team, including entry, sniper, negotiator, bomb, and logistics teams. This team handles high-risk incidents, including search warrants, hostage rescue, barricades, and other high-risk incidents. The department also includes the special response team (SRT), which responds to crowd issues, including riots and protests.


FY22

•The Police department has 485.0 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees. FTEs increased by 3.0 compared to the prior year due to the reclassification of temporary Other Personnel Services (OPS) positions.


Tallahassee Police Department


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Short-Term Plan

TPD will continue to build partnerships and relationships with local community leaders and law enforcement partners in an effort to build stronger working relationships in the community. TPD will enhance our community efforts with the Community Relations Unit and Community Liaison Officer Program to address concerns in specific neighborhoods. TPD will partner with local agencies and leverage technology to address and reduce crime throughout the city. TPD will continue to train its officers and the community.

Challenges

With limited staffing levels and a limited budget, it will be difficult to address the issues TPD and the community are facing. Also due to COVID, TPD is facing the same issues other city departments are.

Long-Range Plan

Increase staffing levels for sworn and non-sworn positions at TPD to meet the objectives and metrics stated below.

2-A-i-2: Promote the City’s Explore Program and Junior Cadet Program.

The City of Tallahassee Police Department’s Cadet program, also known as the Explorer program, is designed for students between the ages of 14 to 21 who have an interest in law enforcement. The Cadet program provides the City’s Police Department with a potential pool of candidates for sworn and non-sworn positions. It is a proactive way to engage, recruit and train young talent from our community. The City’s Police Department seeks to maintain a membership of approximately 15 to 20 cadets per years. To date, roughly 26 participants have become law enforcement officers at various agencies throughout the country.


The Cadet program accepts members year-round and conducts an official membership drive in late summer through local media, social media and the use of printed materials. In August 2019, the Cadet Program Advisor and Cadet Post Captain were interviewed by WTXL about the program and how to become a member. The Cadet program also created a Facebook advertisement and distributed printed materials about the program to all Leon County High Schools, Tallahassee Community College, all branches of local public libraries and several local businesses.


Moving forward, the City will continue to promote the program on the Police Department’s website and its social media accounts, at community events and through the local media. The Police Department will also continue to engage schools, as well as work with the City’s Parks and Recreation Department to promote the program at the various recreation centers throughout the City.  





5-B-i-1: Enhance specialized knowledge needed to address cybercrime.

While preventing property and violent crime is an ongoing and primary concern for the City of Tallahassee, efforts to combat more widespread and ever-present cybercrime issues are needed as well. This new strategic initiative lays the groundwork for City police to seek out and attend advanced training on detecting cyber-crime. By doing so, the City of Tallahassee will be better equipped to provide the citizens with the information they need to protect themselves and their information and will support law enforcement when working through the complexity of these types of investigations.


As part of this initiative, members of the City’s Financial Crimes Unit applied for and were awarded a $10,000 grant in October 2019 by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. The grant will be used to purchase equipment that assists in the early detection of credit card fraud, and to train personnel in cybercrime detection, prevention, and investigation. The training is held at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia and will provide Investigators with the skills necessary to properly investigate cyber related crimes. Lastly, the training received will prepare investigators to host public presentations and seminars for residents, which in turn will strengthen the community’s ability to protect their families and communities and assist in combating cybercrime.


The training was scheduled to occur in May 2020; however due to COVID-19. Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Georgia has not announced new training dates.




5-C-1: Increase Annual Community Oriented, Sensitivity, Fair and Impartial Policing, and De-escalation Training for TPD Officers.

The City is committed to ensuring a high degree of professionalism throughout our public safety services, which reinforces our commitment to building trust in the community we serve. TPD officers can face challenging interactions with the public, which is why training in the areas of sensitivity, fair and impartial policing, and de-escalation provides officers with the skills and methods necessary to gain voluntary compliance and, most importantly, preserve and protect human life.


Community Oriented, Fair and Impartial Policing (FIP) and verbal de-escalation are included throughout the annual mandatory in-service training. To date, 175 sworn officers have completed the 40-hour Crisis Intervention Training (CIT); this is approximately 45% of all sworn personnel. The goal is for every sworn officer to receive this training. The CIT training provides officers with the skills needed to respond to calls that involve individuals with unique mental health needs. Given the emergent mental health need during the COVID-19 pandemic, TPD has partnered with the City’s Housing & Community Resilience Department, Leon County, the Apalachee Center, and 2-1-1 Big Bend to rapidly connect mental health service providers to vulnerable individuals. Under this initiative, specially trained police officers will respond with a licensed mental health professional and fire personnel to non-violent calls where a mental health need has been identified.


The City will continue working to increase awareness of these issues and the proficiency of its’ first responders in applying these techniques. While all City police officers are required to meet annual training requirements for accreditation, TPD will seek further training on de-escalation techniques and approaches that assist in defusing tense situations. These initiatives will both enhance the effectiveness of our public safety service and potentially set a national standard for other communities to follow. Additionally, TPD scheduled for an additional eight-hour course in 2021 on fair and impartial policing for the entire department, as well as members of the community who partook in this training five years ago. TPD is actively researching additional training methods including, Virtual Reality De-escalation training. This would provide the added advantage of providing officers with an extremely realistic training environment amid the current global pandemic.

5-D-i-1: Implementation of license plate reader (LPR) technology at strategic locations in the city to enhance traffic and public safety.

A license plate reader (LPR) system is one of several technologies used by the City to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency in protecting Tallahassee’s roadways, property, and most importantly, its residents. LPR systems are a proactive approach as it allows for early detection and intervention. In FY2019, there were 801 motor vehicle thefts, and 630 in FY2020. Staff projects that the additional LPR technology units will continue to assist in reducing motor vehicle theft, as well as assist in detecting other types of crime.


The LPR system scans for license plates associated with stolen vehicles, and Amber and Silver Alert tags. The automated capture, analysis, and comparison typically occurs within seconds. The corresponding alert affords a possibility of direct intervention in several different types of criminal activity. Other local agencies in our area currently utilize LPR technology in their own enforcement activity, including the Leon County Sheriff’s Office, Florida State University Parking Enforcement and Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Parking Enforcement. To date, 14 License Plate Readers have been deployed.

In FY21, the Tallahassee Police Department expects to deploy an additional 11 License Plate Readers. TPD will utilize intelligence and criminal analysis of motor vehicle theft locations and recoveries, along with other crime type location information to determine impactful locations to place the fixed LPR systems. Mobile LPR units will be used for patrols focused on violent and property crimes. Data obtained from our LPR system will be shared with law enforcement partners, and department policy and procedures will adhere to state and national accreditation standards. LPR technology will enhance the Department’s vehicle location intelligence information through analytics and vehicle detections. This will provide leads to solve open investigations and locate stolen vehicles more quickly, which will help prevent crime throughout the community.

5-D-i-2: Enhance City capabilities to proactively detect criminal activity.

The proactive deterrence of criminal activity is an essential function of the City’s Tallahassee Police Department, as it minimizes risk and ensures the safety of our community. The proactive detection of when and where crime is occurring is multifaceted; it takes place across a wide swath of operations, from patrolling and education to data analytics.


In recent years, advancements in technology have aided the department’s operations in this area. From the ability to seamlessly share data across jurisdictions and organizations, to improvements in technology capabilities such as the Automatic License Plate Readers, the department is better equipped to identify patterns and stop crime from occurring. Public awareness and education is also an effective approach to detecting and deterring criminal activity, as informed citizens are in the best position to protect themselves.


In addition to enhancing internal capabilities, the City will expand on ways to raise public awareness. An initial approach will include outreach via the City’s app DigiTally and the programs ‘Crime Stoppers’ and ‘See Something, Say Something.’

5-F-1: Complete construction and begin operations at the new Public Safety Campus by 2024.

Since 1972, the Tallahassee Police Department has conducted headquarter operations from its current Seventh Avenue location. This facility is now more than 90 years old and encountering increased maintenance, repair and operational issues, as well as size constraints needed to accommodate a growing and dynamic law enforcement agency.


After more than a year of community workshops and active solicitation of public input, the City Commission selected the City-owned Northwood Mall Centre property on Tharpe and North Monroe Streets as the final location for the new facility in January 2020. With this selection, the City officially embarked on the process of designing and constructing a 21st Century modern facility founded on the community-policing philosophy that focuses on maximizing community engagement while meeting the law enforcement needs and expectations of the community.


Over the past 6 months, the spatial needs assessment updates were completed. The adjacency determinations were initiated, as well as the preliminary conceptual designs. The demolition design, planning, and permitting were completed with a kickoff anticipated for December 2020. In addition, master planning efforts have begun for the overall parcel. The target year for completion and move-in is 2024.


5-F-i-1: Increase Economic multiplier effect of police headquarters on the community and surrounding neighborhoods.

To create a safe and inclusive space for the new police headquarters, the City began to research and outreach in 2018 to select a site that would best serve the community. After extensive community engagement Northwood Centre site was selected, a 27-acre parcel at 1940 N Monroe Street. The Northwood Centre site was originally developed in the late 1960s as a suburban shopping center and is zoned Activity Center. Presently, there are over 540,000 square feet of Office Park space in the development.


Currently, the project is on track to complete construction and begin operation by 2024. However, the prerogative to go further than the installation of a police facility exists, and thus a Master Planning effort will take place to determine a mix of complementary uses to inhabit the site. A baseline economic impacts analysis was conducted by the City in 2020 to measure the economic multiplier effect of the police headquarters. Findings show that the construction of the police headquarters will generate a total of $152.4 million in one-time impacts, including 1,165 jobs and $56.6 million in labor income.


In 2021, the City will continue its Master Planning efforts through public engagement, conduct a traffic analysis of the area, complete demolition of the current structures, and finalize the conceptual design for the new Police facility. From this, the City will perform a second “Permanent Impacts” analysis to determine the value-add of new mixed-use properties brought to market. This will include forecasting new local jobs, income, and taxes generated to the community which will support programs Citywide. In effect, the goal is to catalyze new mixed-use opportunities that create jobs and to quantify their expected impact, and to ensure Tallahassee is a safe, resilient, and inclusive community.


6-B-i-3: Implement data-sharing with local law enforcement partners.

In prior years, the City relied on good communication, partnerships, and multiple databases and systems to ensure the flow of data necessary to conduct investigations. This led to instances where partner or neighboring agencies may have been investigating the same suspects and similar crimes with no means to identify overlapping information and evidence. This approach often created duplicate records of people, property and locations. To address this gap, the City implemented a Law Enforcement Report Management System (LERMS) to make data gathering and sharing with partner agencies seamless and more efficient.


This intelligence-led technology links data across multiple levels and platforms, for example individuals and property data, including that from other jurisdictions. This facilitates investigations as it provides all law enforcement partners with the data necessary to solve crimes, and proactively ensure the safety of Tallahassee residents and neighboring communities. Other benefits of this LERMS system include the ability to identify hot spots, effectively handle the increase of calls for service, and support detailed analysis of crime data that is collected.


The City’s enhanced ability to share crime information with partner agencies in near real-time will further enhance public safety for our residents. This sound business practice underscores the City’s continued commitment to transparency and accountability. In an ongoing effort to better share crime information that affects all our citizens, the Tallahassee Police Department and other local and state law enforcement agencies are in discussions about the formation of a collaborative intelligence center that will allow for an even higher degree of access to partner agencies data.